Archeologists made new discoveries in Plymouth, Massachusetts to help them pinpoint exactly where the original pilgrims lived when they settled in the New World on the first Thanksgiving almost 400 years ago.
According to the Boston Globe, archeologists from the University of Massachusetts – Boston claimed to have found what is thought to be part of the original Plymouth settlement as a result of discovering calf’s bones, musket balls, 17th-century ceramics and brownish soil where a wooden post was likely planted.
“Knowing where it is, and that there are pieces that have not been wiped out by construction, will absolutely change what we understand about that settlement,” Kathryn Ness, curator of collections at Plimoth Plantation, a nonprofit museum that was UMass’s partner in the project, told The Globe. “Archeology helps support the historical record, but it also speaks to those who weren’t writing — the illiterate, children, the animals.”
The team of archeologists had been digging in the area of Burial Hill for the last four years. The site includes a centuries-old cemetery where the first settlement had long been suspected of being, but scientists never dug there for fear of harming the old graveyard. However, Landon and his team worked around its edges.
“People have never found part of the 17th-century settlement in downtown Plymouth,” David Landon, a UMass Boston archeologist said, and later noted the original 102 Pilgrim settlers and their descendants raised and domesticated cattle, a practice their Native American neighbors did not engage in at the time. “For the first time, we found part of the built environment.”